Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1947 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood

In rural areas without sidewalks, sometimes it's difficult to tell what's public property and what's part of someone's yard. I try very hard not to trespass on private property or touch anyone's vehicle without permission when I go to photograph cars. In this case, while returning with two friends from the 'world famous' Mystery Spot tourist attraction in Santa Cruz, I had to pull over and snap this cool creamy yellow 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood. The owner's driveway opens out onto a road that began in town and runs out into the woods, and the paved area where the car was parked resembled an easement of sorts, guarded by a painted plywood stand-up of Batman. I know I'm nitpicking here, but I understand that watching a young man pull up, get out of a car with a camera and start photographing your classic car has to look slightly suspicious. For that reason, I do my best not to do anything that could be construed as illegal. I honestly hope I didn't trespass on the owner's property to obtain these photos. Because the car was located outside of a fenced yard, I treated the fence as the boundary between the property and the road.

At any rate, the 1947 Cadillac was the last postwar Cadillac before the advent of the first baby tailfins in 1948 (inspired by the twin boom tails on the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter plane). The body still strongly resembled prewar Cadillacs but wore a restyled grille. The Series 60 Special Fleetwood sedan was a higher trim model than the standard, but still luxurious, Series 61 and 62. The only Cadillac fancier than the Series 60 was the Fleetwood Series 75, which was intended more as a limousine. All Caddies that year came with the 346 cubic inch L-head V8 engine. A Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was optional.

This one is in pretty good shape for its age, and could pass for an unrestored survivor. It's a little rough in the left front fender area, and all the chrome could stand to be either re-done or polished back to its original luster. The rear fender skirts are missing, which looks a little odd since the rear fenders have a notch designed into them at the bottom of the wheel arch where they meet the skirt. Without the skirt in place that notch resembles rust damage. I like that it's been kept stock with its original "Sombrero" wheelcovers (a $25 option) and not lowered or swapped onto ugly custom wheels, and the thick whitewall tires really make it. This is the kind of car you just can't put blackwalls on without it looking totally wrong. I also like the contrasting roof, though I wonder if it might possibly look better with the door window frames above the chrome beltline trim painted the same color as the roof.

Don't hurt me, Batman. I just like the car.

2 comments:

  1. Jay, the latest news on this car is that the owner needed cash and sold the car to someone living in Tarzana. I was advertising a LaSalle, and the new owner contacted me about my car. I had just sold it, and he mentioned having just purchased a '47 Cadillac that he was debating whether to resell as-is, or have it repainted and rechromed. He sent me a few pictures, and when I was googling '47 Series 60 Cadillacs I came across your story here. Same car - I can tell by the front left wheelwell. I'm in WI and the car is in Tarzana, but I really like the postwar cars of prewar design. So, the story continues...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jay, the latest news on this car is that the owner needed cash and sold the car to someone living in Tarzana. I was advertising a LaSalle, and the new owner contacted me about my car. I had just sold it, and he mentioned having just purchased a '47 Cadillac that he was debating whether to resell as-is, or have it repainted and rechromed. He sent me a few pictures, and when I was googling '47 Series 60 Cadillacs I came across your story here. Same car - I can tell by the front left wheelwell. I'm in WI and the car is in Tarzana, but I really like the postwar cars of prewar design. So, the story continues...

    ReplyDelete